1). Dr. Kit Miyamoto in Onagawa, Japan on May 27, 2011.
2). Dr. Kit Miyamoto in Port Au Prince, Haiti leading a team of Haitian engineers on the rapid assessment project of 400,000 earthquake damaged structures.
3). Fukushima, Japan, one of many coastal towns devastated by the tsunami caused from 2011 9.0 Tohuko earthquake.
4). Dr. Kit Miyamoto taking a break with a few of his favorite Haitian friends, who inspire him with their courage.
|>> “THE MOST
IMPORTANT ISSUE IS TO ENGAGE THE PUBLIC, BECAUSE THE PRIVATE SECTOR ALONE CANNOT DO IT. ONCE THEY UNDERSTAND, WE CAN DO RISK MITIGATION.”
The essential problem with earthquakes, unlike hurricanes, is that they cannot be predicted. The aftershocks can be, as in this year’s Japan quake, but that is usually a little late in the game.
Given the unpredictable nature of earthquakes, the best defense for humans is to be in a structure that doesn’t collapse.
Structural engineer Kit Miyamoto recalls being in Haiti in December 2009 at an earthquake conference, where the Haitians seemed unconcerned that an earthquake could hit them.
A month later it did and Miyamoto was there again to pick up the pieces and help the Haitians put their tiny country back together.
Miyamoto’s team sprung into action quickly by identifying what buildings were still safe, thus providing immediate housing for about 40,000 Haitians.
This action drew praise from Jaap van Hierden, Deputy Regional Director, Asia, of UNOPS, a UN body involved with disaster relief.
The UN official gave his views in Bangkok where Miyamoto, president and CEO of Miyamoto International, signed a joint venture with Phutra Corp., and the Association of Natural Disaster Prevention Industry to establish an office in Bangkok.The office will serve as a hub to serve the needs of Thailand and surrounding countries.
Southeast Asia is a very densely populated region, which is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters.
The World Risk Index 2011 of the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security is published every year. The index noted that the Philippines is “heavily affected by extreme natural events” due to its exposed position in the Pacific Ocean.
The Philippines is more vulnerable to disasters than its Southeast Asian neighbors. The rankings are: Timor Leste (7), Cambodia (9), Brunei (14), Indonesia (28), Vietnam (34), Myanmar (57), Thailand (85), Malaysia (91), Laos (104) and Singapore (153).
Dr. Miyamoto came to the United States from Japan as a teenager and holds graduate degrees from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and California State University. ..................